Homeless advocacy coalition releases policy guide for next NYC mayor

homeless election mayor
A coalition of homeless advocates released a policy guide Monday advising the new mayor and City Council on how to address increasing homelessness.
Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Hoping to put pressure on the next crop of lawmakers, a coalition of homeless advocates released a policy guide Monday advising the new mayor and City Council on how to address the growing problem of homelessness.

More than 57,000 people live in shelters and sleep on sidewalks, public transit or parks, the coalition said, and this number continues to increase.

While the human cost is staggering, the coalition also notes the Department of Homeless Services oversees a $1 billion budget. The city spends more than $2,000 per single adult and roughly $3,000 for every homeless family each month, according to estimates from the Independent Budget Office and shelter records.

To tackle this social and fiscal problem, the coalition has proposed “solutions-based” policies — those based on research and other success stories in other cities.

One such proposal includes creating an Interagency Council on Homelessness, uniting the dozen or so agencies with programs impacting the homeless, including the corrections, finance and health departments.

The policy book cites certain areas where the next mayor and City Council can decrease homelessness, most notably by creating more affordable housing and implementing preventive programs.

The coalition urges the next mayor to create a similar rent subsidy program to Advantage, which the city ended in 2011 over state funding concerns. Many advocates believe the end of that subsidy program exacerbated the current rise.

“Poor policy choices helped create modern day homelessness, and better public policy can end it,” Bobby Watts, executive director of Care for the Homeless, said in a statement on the policy book’s release.

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota has said that focusing on job creation is the solution to rising levels of homeless in the city and even suggested he supports amending the state constitution to guarantee the right to shelter for everyone.

The coalition’s policy book, though it stresses shelter is not the solution to homelessness, says ensuring shelter through this law should even be expanded to include runaway and homeless youth as well as domestic violence shelters.

For his part, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio would reduce “bureaucratic red tape” preventing New Yorkers from accessing shelter.

His policy book also says he would create a new support program for at-risk families.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to longterm happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. A new…

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.